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Re: Kernel Firmware issue: are GPLed sourceless firmwares legal to distribute ?

MJ Ray wrote:
> While fairly simple, it is totally incorrect, as public distribution in
> breach of copyright carries criminal liability in England, as I previously
> posted.  See the Copyright Designs and Patents Act as amended, under
> the criminal liability heading. http://www.jenkins-ip.com/patlaw/cdpa1.htm
> I suspect most of the EU has similar law these days, although I cannot
> name them.

You're correct, there is criminal liability in most of Europe
for "intentional infringement" of copyright. Many countries do
however require the copyright holder to file charges against
the infringer first. The police won't act by itself (how could
they, they have no evidence of an illegal act unless the
copyright holder files the accusation of distribution without
a license).

I do wonder, are the copyright holders of the firmware the only
people with standing to sue? If the combination of firmware and
GPL-licensed kernel is a derivative of the kernel, then anyone
with a copyright interest in the kernel can sue for not obeying
the GPL.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/

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